Obituary of Stephen McNair Heidelberg Jr.
Stephen McNair Heidelberg Jr., a Veteran of the U.S. Navy and resident of Slidell, Louisiana, passed away on March 10, 2022 at age 65. He was preceded in death by his parents, Stephen McNair Heidelberg and Dr. Madeline Phillips Heidelberg. He was also predeceased by his brother, William “Billy” Heidelberg.
Steve is the baby brother of Ruth H. Starr of Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Dr. Stephanie Heidelberg of New Orleans, LA; Madalyn H. Smith of Ringgold, GA; and Martha H. (Pete) Lewis of Slidell, LA.
Steve was born in New Orleans, LA, on September 10, 1956, and attended Bayou Lacombe Elementary and Mandeville High School. Steve enlisted in the Navy in March 1976 and was honorably discharged in October 1999 after serving as an aircraft handler on the USS Midway and the USS Ranger and seeing action in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm. He received numerous commendations for Meritorious Service and two Liberation of Kuwait medals.
After discharge, he worked many years at IHOP, Piccadilly, and Walmart, where he received several employee recognition awards and made lifelong friends.
Steve was a thoughtful, gentle soul beloved by friends and family alike. Although he never married, he took great joy in watching his niece and nephews grow through the years and happily partied with them as adults. For their part, they delighted in his quirky humor and his gentle, loving demeanor. Like his sisters, they were often on the receiving end of his generosity: he loved giving unexpected gifts to others. He collected—and gifted—all sorts of knickknacks and gadgets which were an expression of his love of science, of physics, and of amazing interactions of people and nature. Steve was fascinated by liquid hydrogen (and hydrogen balloons), by Venus flytraps, magnets, flashlights, orbs, prisms, and by all things mechanical, such as perpetual-motion style devices, intricate clocks and watches, and flying machines. His collection of these things was astounding.
Also an ardent coin collector, he was especially fond of uncirculated silver and anything gold. Steve’s large collection of CDs attested to his love of classic rock and his many Bibles and devotionals confirmed his devout Christian faith. Theological discussions were a favorite pastime of his. After exploring various religious sects he became a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
We will all miss his unpretentious personality. His answer to any offer would be, “Not right away, thank you.” Mysteries of all kinds intrigued him, as did history: besides being an avid reader, he watched television shows that featured detectives, forensic investigations, World War II, and cold cases. Once he learned a fact, he knew it forever. He animated the discussions and debates he frequently initiated. And he was friend to all. He never asked for help but was happy to give it. His genuine gratitude for even small favors was evident and heartwarming (he thanked his sister Martha endlessly for meals and always tipped anyone who assisted him in any way). Rarely have any of us come across such a kind, tender-hearted gentleman. We may not see the likes of him again.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Monday, March 28, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Audubon Funeral Home in Slidell. A funeral service will begin in the chapel at 12:15 p.m. Steve will be laid to rest in the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors following services. In lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite charity are preferred. Memories and condolences may be expressed at www.AudubonFuneralHome.com
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